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10/10/2016

JESUS AND DEATH

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
 
For those of you who may have been on a distant planet for
the last decade, Justin Bieber is a singer. Actually, Justin
Bieber is a very rich, very successful singer who has grown
up in front of large crowds, screaming teenage girls, and
adults who don't quite manage to see what the big hubbub
is all about.
 
Although he seems to be getting things under control, his
public life has not been without a stumble or two.
Even so, recently Mr. Bieber received a glowing report from
the mother of a nine-year-old girl.
 
It seems that last May Mr. Bieber took time out of his busy
schedule and paid a visit to Kaylee Drew who was suffering
from acute myeloid leukemia. Stopping by the girl's hospital
room Mr. Bieber made that girl feel, at least for a while, first-
rate. Drew's mother wrote, "I need to make sure you know
how much you made her happy."
 
The mother shares, at the end, when Drew was unresponsive,
a Justin Bieber song played into her earphones managed to
make her smile.
 
Now I have to admit, Justin Bieber's songs don't get my feet
to tappin' and my hands a-clappin'. That being said, I have to
applaud and appreciate anyone who manages to brighten the
last days of a dying child.
 
If that is the case for a rock star who paid a one-time, short-
term visit to Kaylee, what ought to be the world's response
to the Savior?
 
You know, when Jesus enters an individual's life, it isn't for
a stolen moment or two. No, when Jesus comes, He comes
to stay.
 
That is why, over the centuries, He has been by the deathbeds
of the rich, the poor, the young, the old, the parents, and the
children. He has been there when death came quietly, and He
was there when death gave a long-time warning. Jesus was
there when the dying individual was alone, and He was there
for the person surrounded by a host of family and loved ones.
But there's more to be said about the Savior's presence when
a person dies.
 
We need to remember that when the physician is helpless and
the medicine is ineffectual, Jesus is doing some of His best
work. He who died so we might be forgiven and adopted into
God's family of faith is there to take us through the valley of the
shadow of death. He is present to assist the dying and comfort
the mourning.
 
He is there -- and because He is -- when death comes calling,
we need not be afraid.
 
THE PRAYER:
 
Dear Lord, the time is coming when I will leave this world. May
I be comforted by the knowledge that at that time I will not be
alone. On that day the Savior will take me to a reunion in heaven
that will never end. In Jesus' Name I give thanks. Amen.
(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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